A. Leaves of Absence
A tenured or probationary faculty member may apply for a leave of absence which, except for extended military leave, shall be for a period of one year or less. These leaves include sick leave, maternity leave, military leave, jury duty leave, and voluntary leave without pay.
1. Maternity or Sick Leave*
In the event of pregnancy or an illness, a faculty member will receive maternity leave or sick leave for periods which may be as long as six months. The University may request confirmation from competent medical sources of the need for maternity leave or sick leave. When a faculty member goes on such a leave, the department chairperson or dean must arrange for colleagues to carry out the faculty member’s obligations or must make other arrangements for fulfilling those obligations. In order to facilitate programmatic planning, a faculty member should notify the department chairperson or dean of the need for maternity leave as far in advance of the anticipated leave period as possible. The faculty member should not commence maternity leave until advised to do so by her physician. Maternity leave covers recovery from pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth, and from any resulting disabilities.
2. Military Leave
Tenured and probationary faculty members and professional staff members can receive leave for required military service. The conditions regarding military leave vary according to the length of required service.
A. Active Duty for Training
Tenured and probationary faculty members and professional staff members are entitled to leave of not more than 21 days annually in order to meet obligations for active duty for training with components of the Armed Forces of the United States. Personnel on such leaves continue to receive compensation and benefits while on leave.
B. Extended Military Duty
Tenured and probationary faculty members and professional staff members who have active duty military obligations for extended periods of time are entitled to receive Extended Military Leave. Faculty members placed on Extended Military Leave continue to receive their usual University compensation and benefits during the first month of military service. A faculty member who has had Extended Military Leave is entitled to reinstatement with the University without loss of rank or previous rate of compensation. To become reinstated, the faculty member must return to service with the University within ninety days of the first opportunity for release from military duty, or at the beginning of the first regular academic session following that opportunity for release, whichever comes first (assuming return at the beginning of the next regular session will not impose an undue burden on the individual).
3. Jury Duty Leave
All faculty members may receive time off when called to serve on a jury panel. Faculty members must attempt to arrange for their classes to be met and for any other essential duties to be performed during such leaves and must inform the departmental chairperson or dean of the need for leave and of the arrangements which have been made.
4. Voluntary Leave Without Pay
Tenured and probationary faculty members may request a voluntary leave of absence without pay. Typically, such leaves are granted for the purpose of further study, broader experience in the person’s field, or in recognition of the faculty member’s stature in the field. Normally, the faculty member should request leave of absence at least three months in advance of the beginning of the proposed leave period. The Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs decides whether to approve such leaves after considering recommendations from the chairperson and dean. Because granting a voluntary leave may interrupt the continuity of an educational program, the availability of appropriate personnel and the importance of the individual’s contribution to the smooth and orderly operation of the program will be among the factors considered in deciding whether to grant such leave. Time spent on a voluntary leave without pay is not counted when considering eligibility for a sabbatical leave unless prior agreement to count this time is recommended by the departmental chairperson and the dean and approved by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs; approval will depend on the extent to which planned activities can be expected to enhance the applicant’s professional stature, including the likelihood that research or scholarly publications will result. Time spent on a leave without pay does not accrue credit in the Teachers’ Retirement System of Alabama.
5. Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides for unpaid leave for some employees to deal with medical or other family problems. The basic criteria for hourly employees involves having worked for 1,250 hours at the University during the preceding 12 months, having exhausted sick leave, etc. These criteria are not readily adaptable to faculty members who have academic year appointments and do not accumulate official sick leave. However, the University is committed to comply with both the letter and the spirit of FMLA. Faculty members who desire leave as specified by FMLA should consult the Employee Relations Office, Department of Human Resources. The Officer, after consulting with the Compliance Officer of the faculty member’s division, will assist in obtaining any appropriate leave.
6. Effect of Leaves on Insurance Programs
When a faculty member has a leave of absence without pay, or temporarily goes off the payroll for other reasons, the faculty member may continue the complete insurance program (medical, life, disability, and accidental death and dismemberment) by paying the full cost. However, the University will continue to pay its portion for pre-existing health coverage for the faculty member who is on FMLA leave. The faculty member must file a request for continuation of insurance at the Benefits Office; personnel of that office will provide information about the cost of continuation and will explain options available to the individual.
B. Annual Leave
Faculty members on academic year appointments receive identified holidays during the academic year and have no obligation to perform University-related duties at times not included in the academic year. Faculty members on calendar year appointments receive identified holidays and earn 22 days annual leave per calendar year; they may accrue a maximum of 30 days of annual leave. Annual leave accrued beyond 30 days automatically will be converted to sick leave days. Calendar year faculty also earn one day of sick leave per month; they may accrue a maximum of 225 days of sick leave to convert to retirement credit.
*Temporary faculty members with appointments for less than one calendar year will not receive compensation for leaves granted under this section.